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Admission to Graduate School
For pursuit of an advanced degree, students must be admitted to the Graduate School before enrolling in graduate courses. A completed application must be filed with the Graduate School by April 15 for consideration for fall admission and by August 15 (international) or October 1 (domestic) for consideration for spring admission. Students should check with their specific program of interest as some programs have earlier deadlines. Students not pursuing an advanced degree but wishing to enroll in graduate coursework should apply as a Special Student (non-degree) by completing an application prior to the start of the semester.
Applicants who meet the Graduate School requirements are not necessarily admitted to the degree program. All qualified applications are reviewed by university and program personnel to determine if admission will be granted. Students who are denied admission may not reapply to the same program within one year of notification, unless specifically requested by the program.
Application for Admission
Application Form - A completed on-line application must be submitted and accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $35.00.
Official Transcripts - Domestic degree-seeking students must provide official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions where a degree was earned, or will be earned, and where graduate level coursework was completed. As a courtesy to the applicant, the Graduate School will retrieve all required South Dakota regental transcripts. International degree-seeking students must provide a professional transcript evaluation, performed by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services-accredited evaluation service member (e.g. Educational Perspectives, WES, or ECE) for all international university academic transcripts. Evaluations must include transcript authenticity, Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation, and U.S. degree equivalency and be sent directly from the evaluation service. Applications will not be processed until the evaluation is received from the service. Submitted transcripts become the property of South Dakota State University and will not be returned. The Graduate School mailing address is as follows:
South Dakota State University
130 Administration Building/Box 2201
Brookings, SD USA 57007
Baccalaureate Degree - Admission to the Graduate School requires that the applicant have a baccalaureate degree, or equivalent, from an institution of higher learning. The baccalaureate-granting institution must be one of recognized standing (including U.S. institutions accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) whose requirements are substantially the same as those of South Dakota State University program(s) in which the advanced degree will be taken.
If applicants are enrolled in U.S. institutions, and if the application is submitted before the Bachelor’s degree is complete, an incomplete transcript must be filed. However, a transcript indicating the Bachelor’s degree has been awarded must be received no later than the end of the first semester of graduate work.
Program Requirements - Individual programs may have additional admission requirements. Applicants should inquire about such requirements from the program of interest.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Submission of the results of a Graduate Record Examination is not a Graduate School requirement; however some programs may require test scores to be submitted. Please review the admission requirements for the program of interest. For the location of testing centers and more information regarding the GRE, please contact the Educational Testing Service.
Immunization Requirements – All university students (domestic and international) must provide documentation proving two (2) properly administered measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella (MMR) immunizations OR immune titers for measles, mumps and rubella. Exemptions to this requirement are considered. Furthermore, all international students are required to submit to a tuberculosis skin test upon arrival. For more information contact: Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services, Box 2818, Wellness Center, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD USA 57007, Telephone : 605.688.4157, Fax: 605.688.6450 or the Office of International Affairs & Outreach , Briggs Library (SBL) Suite 119, Box: 2115, Brookings, SD USA 57007, Telephone: 605.688.4122.
International Students must also submit the following:
TOEFL Score - A score of 525 paper-based, 197 computer-based, or 71 Internet-based or higher is required by the Graduate School for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Equivalent International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are also accepted. Some programs may require higher test scores for admission and are listed within each program section in this Catalog. Also, programs may require additional testing upon arrival.
Financial Support - Evidence of available financial support for at least one year must be submitted to the Office of International Affairs & Outreach, Briggs Library (SBL) Suite 119, Box: 2115, Brookings, SD USA 57007, Telephone 605.688.4122. Applicant must also show evidence that the financial support will be continued throughout their program, at least two years for master’s degrees or four years for doctoral degrees. For any financial assistance from this institution, the applicant must contact the program.
Documentation - Documents for entry into the U.S. will be issued by the Office of International Affairs and Outreach after academic admission and financial certification are complete. Students applying for a visa cannot be admitted conditionally into any graduate program . For inquiries please contact: Office of International Affairs & Outreach, Briggs Library (SBL) Suite 119, Box: 2115, Brookings, SD USA 57007, Telephone: 605.688.4122.
When all required admissions documents are received, the Graduate School reviews the documents to insure the minimum requirements are met. If minimum requirements are not met, the application is denied and the applicant so informed. If the minimum requirements are met, the application and supporting documentation forwarded to the program for review. The program makes a recommendation of acceptance or rejection to the Dean of the Graduate School who, in turn, acts on the recommendation and notifies all concerned parties of the decision in the form of a letter of acceptance or a letter of denial.
An applicant may be admitted without condition if a Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, has been earned, all undergraduate prerequisites for major and minor (if required) fields of study have been satisfactorily completed, and the applicant has an average of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point grading system (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = l) or maintained a 3.0 during the last two academic years of undergraduate work. Admission to all degree programs is competitive and limited by the availability of personnel, facilities, and funding.
Conditional admission may be granted for students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university, if the applicant:
- meets the requirements for admission for the last three semesters but has not completed the last semester of undergraduate study. Admission is conditional until the Bachelor’s degree is granted, OR
- lacks prerequisite undergraduate courses specified by the major program. Admission is conditional until these courses have been completed to the satisfaction of the program, OR
- has a grade point average between 2.75 and 3.0 cumulative for the junior and senior years.
A student admitted conditionally must satisfy any conditions before receiving unconditional status. Performance required to receive unconditional status will be provided to the student in the letter of acceptance. Failure of a student to fulfill the stated conditions may result in dismissal from the program.
Special Student (non-degree)
Students who are not pursuing a degree may register as a Special Student. There is not any cost to register with the Graduate School as a Special Student, though the student is responsible for tuition and fees. Special Students may not receive graduate assistantships, financial aid, or enroll for thesis/dissertation credits. The Dean of the Graduate School will act as an advisor for these students unless otherwise noted. A Special Student may apply for admission into a graduate program using the normal procedures outlined in this document. No more than ten credits acquired under Special Student status may be applied toward a degree.
Students formerly enrolled as graduate students at South Dakota State University and who have not enrolled in three (3) continuous semesters (including summer semester ) must apply for readmission for their program. Graduate School policies in effect for the term of readmission will apply. Official transcripts must be furnished for graduate work taken at other institutions since last enrolled at South Dakota State University. Programs may require the student to update supporting documents for the application. Readmitted students are encouraged to contact their graduate advisor prior to registration. Students who are readmitted may be required to change their Advisory Committee, file a new plan of study or resubmit other matriculation documents.
South Dakota State University is required to establish residency status of all applicants. Please review the residency requirements prior to completing an application. A full description of qualifications is available in the Residency Application.